Text Size:  A A

Family Caregiver Supportlady_seniors_livingroom

As a partner with county and tribal aging programs, GWAAR is your resource for up-to-date information, training, and technical support to help you provide information and assistance to caregivers and their families.

All counties in Wisconsin receive funds through the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) and the Alzheimer’s Family Caregiver Support Program (AFCSP). NFCSP is a federal program through the Older Americans Act and AFCSP is a program exclusive to Wisconsin. While both programs support family and other informal caregivers in caring for their loved ones at home for as long as possible, AFCSP funds are designated for caregivers of people with dementia.


Wisconsin county and tribal aging programs can get AFCSP and NFCSP support and technical assistance by contacting GWAAR’s family caregiver support lead, Jane Mahoney.

The following are resources for county and tribal aging program staff:

NFCSP Information | Grandparents & Relative Caregivers | Forms | Marketing | Education/Training | Coalitions | Share The Care | Support Groups | AFCSP

National Family Caregiver Support Program Information

The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) was established in 2000 as an amendment to the Older Americans Act of 1965. Its main purpose is to assist families and other informal caregivers in caring for loved ones at home for as long as possible. Research shows that caregivers experience high levels of emotional, physical, and financial stress which often leads to diminished health of the caregiver. NFCSP funds are given to each county to be used in developing programs and services to support caregivers. A range of services and support should be offered to caregivers and must include the following Five Core Areas:

1. Information to caregivers about available services
2. Assistance to caregivers in gaining access to the services
3. Individual counseling, organization of support groups, and caregiver training
4. Respite care
5. Supplemental services, on a limited basis

Funds and programs from the National Family Caregiver Support Program are intended to assist caregivers. By nature, the services will in turn improve the life of the care receiver, but the main focus of the NFCSP is to support caregivers.

More in-depth information about the National Family Caregiver Support Program can be found on the Administration on Aging Website. A variety of tools, resources, and ideas are available on this Website to assist counties in meeting these core requirements. 

The NFCSP Policy
NFCSP 101 Training
Creative Ways to Spend NFCSP Funds

Frequently-Asked Questions
ADRC Library Book List (sample)

Grandparents & Relative Caregivers

Grandparents and Relative Caregivers (GRC) can be served through NFCSP if the caregiver is a relative by blood, marriage, or adoption and:

  • is age 55 or older.
  • is the primary caregiver.
  • lives with the child.
  • the child is under age 19 or is age 19-59 with a disability (cannot be the child’s parent).

These programs are sometimes referred to as Relatives as Parents Programs (RAPP). This is an important group of caregivers that need assistance.

The documents and links below can help you get started!

AARP Grandparenting
Brookdale Foundation Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP)
Grandparenting Today
State Kinship Care Program

GRC Program Ideas

GRC Programs in Wisconsin
RAPPs in Other States

Documentation & Forms

The distribution of funds for respite care, supplemental services, and other goods and services must be documented in SAMS (Social Assistance Management System) per federal and state guidelines. NFCSP policy also requires an assessment be done on caregivers and their care receivers to determine eligibility for the program. The basic information required that needs to be entered into SAMS can be gathered by using the following forms. Please note that one form is to collect information on the caregiver and the other is used to collect information on the care receiver.

SAMS Reference Sheet
Where to Report NFCSP Services
Caregiver Initial Intake Form
revised 11/15/15
Care Recipient Initial Intake Form revised 11/15/15
Caregiver Needs Assessment Form

NFCSP Data Collection Sheet

Marketing Assistance

One of the biggest challenges in assisting family caregivers is finding the caregivers who need help; many of them do not identify themselves as caregivers and some think they don’t need help. And still, others are too overwhelmed by the day to day tasks to take the time to seek out help.

Effective marketing tools are vitally important to reach those caregivers who need help. Distributing brochures and posters to local businesses such as pharmacies, clinics, grocery stores, senior centers, etc., is a great form of outreach. Writing articles for newsletters and local papers can also be an effective way to reach caregivers. The WisconsinCaregiver.org Website features valuable information and resources including a Marketing Toolkit (new page) to enhance caregiver support programs.

Create and Play Jeopardy Game
Hispanic Resources in Wisconsin
Hmong Resources in Wisconsin
Ideas for Reaching Family Caregivers
Marketing Plan Template
Marketing Plan Brainstorming Worksheet
NFCSP Marketing Websites

Family Caregiver Support Education/Training    

Powerful Tools for Caregivers (PTC) is the most widely-used evidence-based curriculum for caregiver education in the state. The Wisconsin Institute on Healthy Aging (WIHA) provides leader training and technical support for leaders.

Caregiver Coalitions

Find information and support (new page) for creating and sustaining a local or regional caregiver coalition.

Caregiver Coalitions Contact Information

Share The Care Stations in Wisconsin 

Share The Care Stations are being developed in Wisconsin to meet the growing need for resources and support for family caregivers. Members of caregiver coalitions, including the local ADRC and aging unit, are trained in the Share The Care model to assist others in starting Share The Care groups. Share The Care offers communities another solution for providing care (by personal, volunteer networks) to meet the increasing demand for informal caregivers.

List of WI STC Stations
Map of WI STC Stations

Individual Counseling, Organization of Support Groups, & Caregiver Training

Caregiver Self-Assessment
Six Stages of Caregiving
Caregiver Bill of Rights
Caregiver Support Group Topics
Working With Families Who Have Significant Issues

Support Group Guidelines Sample

Telephone Support Group Postcard Front

Telephone Support Group Postcard Back
Telephone Support Group Flyer

Support Group Toolkit new page

Alzheimer's Family Caregiver & Support Program Information

The Alzheimer’s Family Caregiver and Support Program (AFCSP) was created by the Wisconsin state legislature in 1985 as a way to provide assistance to families who are caring for a loved one with irreversible dementia at home. The program is available to persons with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia and their caregiver. Their household income must also be less than $40,000/year with allowances for disease-related expenses.

AFCSP Program Management Materials

AFCSP 101 Training
AFCSP 101 Printable Version
AFCSP Policy

AFCSP Outreach and Information

AFCSP Fact Sheet
AFCSP Marketing Ideas

Alzheimer's and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin
Alzheimer's Association


Dementia System Redesign

Dementia-Capable Wisconsin
Plan for a Dementia-Capable Wisconsin

Financial Eligibility Instructions and Worksheets

General Information
Financial Eligibility Screen: Worksheet 1
Financial Eligibility Determination: Worksheet 2
Maximum Annual Payment Schedule